With the vast amount of internet fraud, security breaches, and digital crime, the call to fortify your key business data has never been louder!

As businesses grow globally, and more business infrastructures are connected, cybercriminals have come to realize the importance of data that organizations are protecting, and the recent surge in technological advancement has made everyone from solopreneurs, to large scale firms more vulnerable to attacks than ever. 

That said, attackers have realized that other business owners, just like you, are already outlining basic protection strategies to safeguard them from cyber-attacks. 

The Equifax breach that exposed almost half the country to global ransom campaigns, between mid-May and July 2017, has emphasized the fact that no business is resistant to cyber-attacks. Robert S. Mueller III, Director of FBI once said: “I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category now: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.”

New business trends such as big data, mobile and hybrid computing, IoT revolution and the emergence of cybercrime products (i.e. sales of malware creation software) have improved how attacks are carried out. In fact, Juniper researchers predict fewer attacks overall, but more successful and business dooming ones starting from 2018. 

How can you outsmart these constantly-improving cybercriminals?

Below are seven, although simple, but highly effective tweaks to ensure ultimate cybersecurity:

1. Acknowledge that you’re an existing target to hackers:

“You can get anything if you acknowledge you need it.” – Dr. Tzu

When it comes to cybersecurity, nobody, no single person can say: never it can’t happen to me.

“Inasmuch as you’ve got business data, and you make online transactions, you’re an existing target to hackers. Realization and acknowledgment of this fact would help you quicken your acts towards staying protected,” says Nicholas Dutko of Vehicle Transport Services.

2. Establish a reliable virtual security program to protect your privacy

Virtual security programs are the last line of defense. In case you were careless to give way to online breaches, the system’s security would ensure the extra privacy of your business data.

Implementing a reliable security program can mean the difference between comfort and discomfiture online. Anchorfree, for example, is a very reliable VPN with a hotspot shield that provides secure and private access to a free an open internet. 

3. Periodically update passwords and never duplicate

Updating your passwords regularly is a simple and effective way to strengthen your security online. 

IT experts recommend that at every instance of updating your password, you should avoid using any personal data (such as your last or middle name, date of birth) commonly spelled words or letters that are closely arranged on the keyboard. 

Avoid duplicating passwords as well. Just imagine cyber thieves gaining access to that single password which you use for your bitcoin wallet, your current account, your savings account, and your business dashboard.

Make each password unique — with a mixture of upper and lower case letters, special symbols and numbers of at least 9 characters or more. And never reuse a password. 

4. Don’t procrastinate checks and upgrades

As a business person, when you get notifications of an outdated app on your business operating system, it’s dangerous to procrastinate its upgrade. Yes, you’re busy, but do you know that cyber attackers carry out their operations through vulnerabilities in your business’s system – one of which is outdated plugins?

It is therefore recommended that as your business’s software service provider notifies you of an upgrade, you should try to stay updated to the very best. Many of these upgrades are designed to block security holes in your OPS.

5. Two-factor-authentication, 2FA, is essential

In case you’re not familiar with 2FA, it is a system service option, SSO, that demands more than just your password. Two-factor-authentication does not allow you or other persons to gain access to your account unless you input a one time password (OTP) or code which would either be sent to the registered phone number or the email linked with the account, at every single login attempts. 

With two-factor-authentication, the system confirms your identity to be sure the only person logging in to your account is authorized. When your password is compromised, 2FA serves as a second layer of defense on your business account. 

Most financial sectors, as well as some social media platforms, encourage the use of two-factor authentication — because it grants peace of mind, and so should you.

6. Not all links are relevant

When it comes to online communications and transactions, you should always note that not all links are relevant. Nowadays, cybercriminals take advantage of some skeptic or displaced links to direct you to a harmful domain.

Most times, whenever a short link is sent to you; either from an unknown sender or from an untrusted client, you might just have to ask the person for the full URL to look into it before clicking. 

7. Schedule periodic threat analysis

Just because you’ve invested a lot of time and money in cybersecurity doesn’t give you complete confidence. Be sure to schedule periodic threat analysis to discover upcoming/existing threats.

It could be a fault from your end, your third-party service provider, your customers or other associates. Discovering potential threats early can prevent the attack from taking place – all you just have to do is quicken your security towards that defense and eliminate every possible threat.